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Torres injury creates a roster hole
Sharks still unclear on magnitude
9/23/13 - By Mike Lee -

With the start of the NHL season just 10 days away, the Sharks are already faced with the burden of having to backfill roster spots created by injury. Several sources have indicated that Sharks forward Raffi Torres suffered damage to his knee that could keep him out of the lineup for several weeks, if not months. Torres suffered the injury in Friday night's preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Sharks are still waiting for swelling to subside before any more detailed diagnosis can be provided. The fear is Torres tore his ACL, which would mean significant time on the shelf. Torres collided with Ducks forward Emerson Etem in the Sharks 3-2 loss at SAP Center.

There is enough swelling around the knee, that a clear assessment can't be made on the extent of the damage. The best case scenario would have Torres on the ice in a few weeks. The controversial winger signed a three year $6 million contract with San Jose this past summer.

The injury adds to the Sharks ills, with Martin Havlat sill hobbled. More importantly, San Jose loses a major presence on the ice. Torres' history as a head hunter has been well documented, but his scoring acumen provided San Jose with a dimension that many weren't expecting when they acquired him in a trade last spring.

The injury means that Anthony Stewart will get more of an opportunity to show that he belongs with the Sharks. Stewart had a rough night on Saturday, skating only 13:24 of ice time. He was sent off for boarding in the first two minutes of the game, and had two giveaways. Meant to be a physical presence on the ice, Stewart spent most of the night chasing the puck.

San Jose has little in terms of bona fide prospects to fill the void created by Torres, so free agency could be another option. Cap space isn't something the Sharks have much of, nor are there many available players that fit the Torres mold.

Former Shark Kyle Wellwood is available, but he doesn't give you the physical presence of a Torres.


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